Which Time is Witch (The Witching Hour Myth)


by Tony Harrington

At a recent Spirit Seekers meeting, one of the team members mentioned something to the effect of “The later in the night an investigation takes place the more active it will be based on the fact that the witching hour is at 3:00 a.m.”

This sort of gave me pause, mostly because I was concerned if this information is accurate and furthermore, if it is not accurate, why are so many people misinformed about this aspect of our supernatural world?

I can’t blame the confusion to be honest, most of what people know about the paranormal stems from watching shows such as Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State. These shows toss out words and definitions with rapid-fire frequency, but occasionally they just get their facts wrong. Let’s face it, there is no fact checking that has to go into these programs, we just grin and accept that someone else will come along and set the record straight. Couple this misinformation with the conventions of Hollywood film making and you have a myth that is harder to kill than (insert favorite movie monster here).

Depending upon which “specialist” is giving the lecture the “Witching Hour” can either be:

1) The time at which warlocks, witches, Satanists, and Charlie Sheen practice the dark arts, perform rituals, and conduct sacrifices.

2) The accepted European folklore hour during which malevolent spirits are given free rein of the earth to conduct their evil deeds.

The exact hour of the “Witching Hour” is also up for debate. Some claim the time begins at the stroke of midnight while others hold that 3:00 AM begins the darkest hour. Others, like myself, simply believe this is a load of malarkey. There is no set time at which spirits become more active, they do not perform on queue and they do not hold to our earthly constraints such as time and distance.

Midnight is often used because it is the zero hour, the passage of one day into the next. Some believe that at this time there is a rip in the veil that separates our world from theirs. Yes, it is a fascinating concept but when you say it out loud it reeks of Hollywood. There is simply no scientific proof to substantiate the claims as there is no method by which to measure increase in paranormal activity with any consistency.

Those that claim that the “Witching Hour” is 3:00 AM use this number as the converse of 3:00 PM, the time of day Jesus Christ was said to have succumbed from his crucifixion. If Jesus is a symbol of all that is good and sacred then the opposite of of Jesus and everything connected to him indicates an alignment with evil. Using this theory, 3:00 AM is the time when evil can walk the earth and ghosts and goblins are no longer held back from making their presence known.

Three in the morning has been used in several horror movies from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” to “The Amityville Horror” and several other films in between to draw the audience in and further push the “Witching Hour” agenda.

In theory it would be nice if there was some magic time at which ghosts would put on a spectacular show. In actuality, it simply isn’t so.  I discussed this with a friend of mine who is a self-proclaimed witch. When I asked her about the “Witching Hour” she said with a laugh, “We can be wtichy anytime we want, we don’t have to wait for a certain time of day.”

During our investigation of the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium last year, 3:00 AM came and went without so much as a whimper while the earlier part of the night (prior to midnight) had investigators hearing music, footsteps and whispers. None of these personal experiences happened during either the midnight or three AM “Witching Hours”.  Our horrifying experience in Smackover, AR transpired around 9:30 and 10:30 without a Witching Hour in site.

While we were at a private residence in Mayflower, AR, a television turned on by itself and guess what? That’s right, it was not on either side of the suspected “Witching Hour”.

Still, you will have television shows and so-called paranormal celebrities offering their theories on the subject and almost all of them will be pushing the “Witching Hour” agenda. What they won’t tell you is that it does not exist. Why does activity seem to increase during these times for those who swear by the hours? Because it is extremely quiet in a house at these hours and homeowners and investigators can hear more and experience more when their senses are heightened by the darkness and the deafening quiet that early morning brings to a household and surrounding town.

The greatest mystery of the “Witching Hour” is that it does not exist outside of the fabricated world of “Paranormal State”, “Ghost Adventures” and the like.  Heck, even world-renowned paranormal specialists the Warrens couldn’t keep their stories straight as to which was the haunting hour so they compromised and claimed midnight as “The Witching Hour” and announced that 3:00 AM was “The Devil’s Hour”.

How convenient.

Thankfully, a majority of educated paranormal investigators know that this so-called hour is nothing more than a myth, and we can only do our best to continue educating others and hope that over time this little nugget of pseudo-fact is purged from existence.

About SPIRIT Seekers
Spirit Seekers is a Paranormal Research Team located in Arkansas, dedicated to investigating and documenting the spirit world around us. Our Team is committed to the research, documentation, education, and investigation of ghostly phenomena recorded through EVP, digital, film and video photography. Spirit Seekers consists of professional people who believe there is far more to the world around us than meets the eye. We believe that our spirits enter into another plane of existence upon physical death. For any number of reasons, some have elected to stay here or have been anchored here, unable to move on. We, as a whole, desire the knowledge and understanding of life after death. One of our main goals is to assist those who are experiencing paranormal phenomenon. We will look for authentic evidence of the paranormal and try to determine if the location is haunted. We do not charge a fee for our services. Please feel free to contact us if you need our assistance.

5 Responses to Which Time is Witch (The Witching Hour Myth)

  1. Alan says:

    I believe you are correct in your beliefs concerning the witching hour. Ghosts are with us 24/7. I do however believe that the best hunting is after midnight because it is quieter with less outside interference to distract a person. I hate staying up that late but I do what I have to do to get the job done. I have friends that refuse to hunt after midnight. They say they can get as much data and potential evidence during regular hours. They are correct but with a very big difference, Their data / evidence is fully contaminated with everyday noise. This makes it hard to tell what it is that a person has captured on film or recorder. It is hard enough to discern ghost or not when no other distraction exist.

  2. Soitissobeit says:

    Oh have I got news for you people.

    The things you think are not more than thoughts. The things that are so are so. But to scientifically do anything to annalize that which is so to debunk it is most futile. Read what I just typed again. If something is so all the scientific research will never in infinity times infinity make it not so. For that which is so is so.

    Example: Researchers spent (X) amount of time with (X) equipment attempting to either prove or disprove (X) ang got results in favor or against (X) and can say with certainty that (X) is real or not real.

    So the (X) what? If something is so then nothing is going to change the fact that it is so. ~So it is~.

    If you saw that which is rare, that which is not easily explainable, that which is contraversial, that which is mysterious….guess what….uh huh….you saw it. It is so unto you.

    Why would you ever let anyone tell you what you and only you saw was either real or not real. You saw it. They did not. You have to accept it if you saw it wether you can explain it or not.

    They, perhaps can not accept knowing of what you saw. Are afraid to accept it. Unwilling to accept it. Does any of that have anything to do with what you saw that is so?

    No. And ~so it is so be it~.

  3. I am not sure you commented on the right article, but what you say makes half-sense. If you saw it, that does not equal it actually happening. Yes, to the person experiencing a paranormal event, it seems very real. We respect that notion, but seeing a glass slide across a table does not mean it is paranormal in nature. Though a glass did most certainly slide across the table.

    To simply accept something as paranormal and discount any logical explanation is lazy in my opinion.

    But yes, if you experienced it, it happened, obviously. But not not attempt to explain what happened is egregious.

  4. Brannigan says:

    I would like to say that, there does seem to be a time of night when spirits can more easily communicate with the living. I’ve heard that it has something to do with light separating the two dimensions or whatever you want to call them, and so the darkest hour of the night is best. Your friend’s comment made me laugh. I am also a witch, and there is a big difference between “being witchy” and working with spirits. You do it when the spirits are willing, not whenever you feel like it.

    • Hey Brannigan:

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on the blog. I love hearing from people who stop by and this blog has made it possible for me to hear from a lot of different people with different views on topics.

      I would never be so bold as to assert that my views, or anyone on this blog for that matter with an opinion, to be an “expert”. But, as a practicing “witch”, (Is that an acceptable term? I never know what to call Wiccans, etc.), I am sure you are better equipped to provide a more accurate answer. :)

      Incidentally, I am in the process of writing an article on modern witchcraft, so after it is posted, perhaps you could tell me if I missed the mark completely.

      As for the “witching” hour…whose to say. In my experience I have not encountered anything to substantiate the claim that such an hour exists, but that doesn’t necessarily negate the fact that a witching hour does indeed exist.

      Gosh, I hope that makes sense, I am prone to incessant rambling at times.

      Thank you again for stopping by, hopefully you will contribute to more discussions in the future.

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